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Leprechaun in the Hood: The Musical: A Novel

leppyleppyleppyOut now from Broken River Books: LEPRECHAUN IN THE HOOD: THE MUSICAL: A NOVEL by Cameron Pierce, Adam Cesare, and Shane McKenzie

Thirty, jobless, and going prematurely bald, amateur director Simon has dumped every last dime into his pet project: a musical adaptation of the cult film LEPRECHAUN IN THE HOOD. With a week til curtains up, the production is a disaster. His actors can’t act, his crew hates his guts, and his set has a tendency to go up in flames. And all that is before the actual leprechaun, a mythological beast with a penchant for limericks and grisly murder, catches wind of the whole operation. Gathering as many four-leaf-clovers and wrought-iron spears as they can, the surviving cast and crew must band together to kill the creature and ensure that the musical goes ahead as planned. But with an army of undead strippers at his side, the leprechaun is determined to disembowel, behead, and battle rap his way toward reclaiming his gold…and his intellectual property.

Click here to buy the paperback.

Click here to buy the Kindle edition.

Flash Fiction Friday: Writing in Tongues

by Harry Brawngrout

He stuck the end of the crowbar into the dead boy’s mouth and tried to pry the jaw loose. A centimeter of space and then it snapped right back shut like it was spring loaded. Tight. The dead boy grinned where his lips had been ripped away, a demented crocodile.

He repositioned the flashlight to shine directly into the dead boy’s face. Like a golfer he pulled his arm back and then swung the crowbar into the grinning mouth. There was a crunching sound like chewing broken glass. He got down on his knees and shone the light into the gaps where teeth had been.

Nothing. He could still see nothing. He reached his index finger in blindly and felt the tongue. He managed to grip the tip and pull it out of the mouth. An inch, six inches, three feet. The entire prophecy was written there if he could only decode the ancient script.

With a machete he hacked the long tongue free. A viscous black fluid wept from the end. He felt it with his fingers. It had the consistency of motor oil and burned him slightly.

He put the tongue into his satchel and turned to leave, but the hand on his ankle stopped him dead.

He looked down at the dead boy. The milky eyes didn’t seem to understand what was going on. The boy moved his mouth and gurgled, drooling the greasy secretions down his chin.

“Now, goddammit, boy. You know I need the whole tongue.”

“Urh-urh!” the boy said, pointing at his mouth.

“I can’t give it back to you, boy. I need it, I told you!”

“Uh-uhhh-urrrrh!” said the boy, trying to stand.

“Just go on down and lay in your grave, now. Go on. Get!” He pointed to the open grave some few feet distant and spat at the boy’s feet.

The boy groaned again and stuck his fist into his mouth. He reached it far too deep and pulled out something that looked like another tongue. This one was even longer and written in the same alien script as the first. The boy pointed enthusiastically at the new tongue and chirped, “Eeee-eee-eee!”

“Hell, boy. Are you playing games with me from beyond the grave?”

The boy cracked a torn smile and handed the second tongue to him. Then he stooped and began to pick up the broken tooth fragments and place them back into his mouth.

“Well, I ‘spect you’ll be wanting your old tongue back then.”

The boy nodded, fingers still arranging ivory bits in his ruined gums.

“Well, boy, I can’t take the chance of giving back the wrong one.”

The dead boy’s eyes grew dark and he wailed.

“Hold your horses!” he said and pulled out his own tongue. With a jerk he yanked it free. He waved it in the boy’s direction.

The boy looked at it in disgust, but then shrugged and placed the tongue into his mouth. He wiggled it for a bit and then began to speak:

“Hello? Aw hell, now I talk like you! Dammit, fella!”

He shrugged at the boy and walked on, shining the flashlight alternately between each tongue, mumbling, “Urrh-urrrh-uh,” and tasting blood.

______

Harry Brawngrout composes works of gritty Southern Fried Gothic Noir Punk while listening to the Jesus Lizard, Buzzove*n, Mule, and Tad in his momma’s pop-up camper. His first novel was lost in a fire. He has vowed to track that fire down and make it pay.

Fantastic Earth Destroyer Ultra Plus by Cameron Pierce & Jim Agpalza

frontcover-194x300An apocalyptic nightmare in the tradition of UzumakiThe Epic of Gilgamesh, and Tetsuo: The Iron Man.
In the mining town of Itchy Zoo lives a boy with pumpkin flesh. His name is Tetsuo, and he’d like to tell you about the terrible things that brought ruin to his town. How he shot his brother, how the people of Itchy Zoo became puppets, how he fell in love for the first and last time, and how Satan watched it all go down.
Written by Wonderland Book Award-winning author Cameron Piece and fully illustrated by Jim Agpalza, Fantastic Earth Destroyer Ultra Plus is a bizarro epic that’s as beautiful as it is bleak.
CLICK HERE to get yours today!

Dilation Exercise 111

Below you’ll find Alan M. Clark’s weekly Dilation Exercise. It uses an illustration from his new novel, Say Anything But Your Prayers, released today by Lazy Fascist Press, and is inspired by the story. Please look at the picture, read the caption, above and below the image, and allow your imagination to go to work on it. This time, since this image and text are a product of a finished work, please don’t elaborate on the story with comments. Need a further explanation about the Dilation Exercises? Go to Imagination Workout—The Dilation Exercises.

Tears ran down Elizabeth’s cheeks and into her blouse as she took the old woman’s cold, crooked hand into her own.

I might as well have cut her throat, she thought.

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

If you like Alan M. Clark’s artwork, please try his writing in both short fiction and novels.

Artwork: “The Old Woman’s Crooked Hand” copyright © 2014 Alan M. Clark. Interior illustration for Say Anything But Your Prayers by Alan M. Clark – Lazy Fascist Press.

Flash Fiction Friday: Rattled by the Rush (Excerpt)

by Chris Kelso

233,

I take time over the stress of every word. Do you like to write? You like to read though…right?

To be an artist is to suffer.

The deliria can be rather disorientating, so I decide to connect the rooms in my house with lines of taut thread and then I’m is able to feel my way along each strand to the desired part of the house. I believe the reward of suffering is experience and that pain is the great teacher of mankind.

I pass through the door that connects the hallway to the kitchen and immediately hallucinate. A tessellation of colours set in viridian zig-zag towards me like lightening through fog. I forget why I went into the room in the first place. My mind is now brimming with brilliant ideas that I hope can be retained until I gets back to his study, but first I have to eat.

I go to the white rectangle that freezes my food and bring out a red, raw, rounded object, perhaps an onion or an apple. I laugh so hard at the pulsing fruit/veg heartbeat in the palm of my hand that I have to stop myself, as if suddenly surprised by, and aware of, my own mirth. I eat the fruit/veg.

I exit the blue lightening kitchen and re-enter the hallway that connects each room. I go back into the study fast as degenerate matter, full of renewed fervour and manage to type up some of my backlogged ideas. I believe there is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.

If you walk in on this stooped and mealy coloured man writing at his desk, you’ll notice a few things – firstly, when I masturbate I moves my penis in circular gyrations between the tight O of my thumb and index finger in a way that would suggest I have my technique down to a very fine art – hallucinations are at their most vivid when I’m at a climax, or so I would claim. I enter the vortex of my own hand and am frequently mesmerised by the subsequent pearlescent geyser. Masturbation is the only respite from my perpetual creativity which has devoured me like syphilis, and I masturbate a lot.

Secondly, I am a man who, unlike the rest of the Slave State émigré, am in possession of more than a little street-cool. My fix-up bildungsroman novels have gained a cult following amongst underground literary enthusiasts. A man of the picaresque, of the nouveau roman…One suspects that no one realises I am imprisoned in my own mind, in my own home, in fact! Where behind each door is a new ugly and visceral delusion waiting to set upon me…

I enter the hallway again and continue along to the door leading to the bathroom. A hallucination hits me the moment I drops his trousers. Although I feel intact and present, I am certain that the cortical stimulation I’m experiencing since eating the circular fruit/veg has left me foaming in the heart of an epileptic seizure. I remember that I believes we cannot learn without pain and that Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

I drop to my knees, void my bowels and feel the rest of my brilliant ideas leave my body in a jet of multi-coloured excrement. On my knees, I nurse my empty head and my empty stomach. I pull myself to my feet and feel around for the rope that leads to the sanctuary of my study, but my wriggling fingers investigation only fresh air…

‘Affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it.’ I mumble to myself and the redundancy of it all sears through me like a thimbleful of neutron star.

Henry Malkmus pops into my head. He has a concentration camp tattoo on his arm.
– Why did you make me the way I am? – He asks.
– Who would you rather have been? Ignius Ellis? Larry? Dan Smear? Denny Carr maybe? How about Kip Novikov or Big Sur? Isabella? The Black Dog virus perhaps? You already are all those people. My characters are so poorly fleshed out. You idiot, don’t you realise it doesn’t matter?
– It does to me. Why did I have to get stuck behind a drywall and get raped by shadow demons?
– The bisexual incubus thingy?
– Yes.
– I was actually running low on ideas…
– Well ain’t that just fuggin great?!?
– Listen, Henry…can I call you Henry? I’m not a bad guy, just a bad writer.
– I keep seeing silverfish…
– That’s my fault I suppose.
– No fuggin shit?
– I had a character in a book called ‘Transmatic’ called Ignius Ellis who discovered that the Slave State was run by extra-terrestrials who were closely sprung from Silverfish. Quite funny really…
– So I’m not even really….me?
– Fraid not, you’re kind of a cross between Ignius Ellis and a bunch of other McGuffins :)
– You can write in emoticon?
– So can you, look…
– I don’t know if I can…
_ :) :) :)
– :(
– Hey, I’m sorry…Henry was it?
– What am I supposed to do with myself now?
– What’s cliché for you won’t go by you. It’s better to have clichéd and lost than never to have clichéd at all, right? Am I right? Plenty more cliché in the sea!
– God dammit! How does it end? Just tell me that much? Come on! Come on tell me! TELL ME! HOW DOES IT END? HOW DOES THIS FUCKING END YOU CUNT, YOU UTTER CUNT????

Malkmus starts to fade out as easily as he had appeared before me.

There is the sound of a younger man inside the hollowed concave of my skull – weeping. I am almost fresh out of ideas, almost free from the slavery of imagination. I cannot wait to be free.
I feel the loose, exposed circuitry as the brain tries it’s best to self-apply electrical tape, to twist naked connectors and achieve new voltages with frayed wiring. I know I will be fine eventually – until I walk into a different room of the house that is…
Poser

****

Malkmus stared at the concentric crater, observed its bowl shaped, low-rimmed hollows then stood aside so the nosegay of plant-alien scientist could get a better look. They had Slave State badges on their lab coats and t-shirts underneath that read YOYODYNE COMPANY

——

Chris Kelso is a writer, illustrator and editor. His books include – The Dissolving Zinc Theatre (Vilipede Publications), The Black Dog Eats the City (Omnium Gatherum), Schadenfreude (Dog Horn Publishing), Last Exit to Interzone (Black Dharma Press), A Message from the Slave State (Western Legends Books), Terence, Mephisto & Viscera Eyes (Bizarro Pulp Press), Moosejaw Frontier (Bizarro Pulp Press), Transmatic (MorbidbookS) . He recently edited Caledonia Dreamin’ – Strange Fiction of Scottish Descent with Hal Duncan and is the co-creator of the anti-New Yorker, Imperial Youth Review.

Show Me Your Shelves: Shane Cartledge

Shane Cartledge is one of the really cool emerging voices in bizarro fiction. His first book, House Hunter, was published in 2012 as part of the New Bizarro Author Series. Since BizarroCon is nonstop fun and mayhem, I didn’t get to sit down with my Bionic Brother in Portland, but have been in touch ever since, and he’s a great guy: talented, mellow, humble, and he loves Junji Ito. Now Shane’s second novel is here, so it’s a perfect time for him to show us his stuff and talk books. Dig.

Who are you and what role do books play in your life?

I’m Shane. I read books. I write books. I live them in my head. Books are the key to my imagination. Smashing words together in a way that makes different people picture different things in their heads, I think that’s a very powerful thing. It seems mostly harmless, but it can be terrifying, the things books can make you think. It can also be beautiful. At times it can be blissful, surreal, chaotic, or cathartic. With each book, there is a different experience to be had, and within books, a complex network of thoughts and emotions. It overwhelms me. I read to experience those feelings. I write hoping that other people can feel it too while reading my own work. What more is there to books?

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You were part of the greatest NBAS class ever. What did you learn? Do you think it changed your career in a significant way?

I have five other authors to thank for my NBAS class being so great. The books were magical. I went to places I’ve never been and never could imagine from the comfort of my own home. I made so many friends and I learned that this first book was only the beginning of something. I learned what hard work really is, and that I’ll never achieve much without it. I learned that respect and admiration is earned. You don’t wake up published and dive Scrooge McDuck style into a pool of royalty money. Every book sold is a blessing. Every book read. Every review. Every time someone tells someone else about this book they read that was yours. I learned that everyone won’t love my book (and some might really dislike it) and that’s okay, and the solution to it is to wake up the next day and keep writing. Write something better. Write what you love to write. Write what you’re afraid to write because you think it’s beyond your limits. Don’t be afraid to go insane. Of course the NBAS changed my career in a significant way. I became part of a collective. I found out how little I knew about the publishing industry, how little writing experience I had, how much hard work I had ahead of me if I really wanted to stick around. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Is living in Australia an impediment to your career in the US? Are there any pains that come from it besides the price of sending books this way?

Pretty much all the book-related shipping I do is international shipping. I’ve had books sent to me that have wound up missing, and some of those books were one-of-a-kind limited edition type deals. It hurts both me and the guy on the other end. Every time I ship books out I’m worried they won’t arrive. I’ve come to peace with the cost of international shipping, and I’m constantly thinking of ways to work around that to give people the best deals I can without running at a loss. But I’m always concerned about whether or not my books will arrive. It sucks being so far from all the writers I cherish. It sucks that I can’t afford to fly out to Portland for BizarroCon each year. Talking with other writers is something I’m getting used to, trying to work around American time zones in order to have a decent conversation. I guess the other thing would be that I don’t really have much of a local writing collective. It might just be that I’m shy and don’t get out all that much, there isn’t much in terms of readings/events/conventions in my part of the world (and specifically my part of the country). I’m constantly telling myself that I need to talk more with local poets and writers and try to latch on to everything that comes along and try to boost it up a bit, to try building up a local network.

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You read books and comics, so let’s split it: give me the best five books you’ve read this year and the top five comics.

Okay. Books:

One – Long Lost Dog of It, by Michael Kazepis. His prose is so smooth, the details are so sharp and clear, the story is raw and aggressive.

Two – Crystal Eaters, by Shane Jones. I just finished it, and there’s this mythic quality about it, the child-like simplicity of the concept and the way that you see it from the beginning charging head-first towards heartbreak.

Three – The Creek, by Justin Grimbol. There is a lot of humour and a lot of heart in Justin’s writing, and I think it is beautifully displayed here in his poetry collection.

Four – The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World, by Brian Allen Carr. Carr’s writing, like Jones, has that mythic quality about it, but it exists on a darker spectrum. It’s an all-consuming monster, and it is beautiful.

Five – Black Cloud, by Juliet Escoria. This is the world unfiltered and brimming with conflicting emotions. Short stories with characters saying and doing things you wish they wouldn’t, feeling things you know are true feelings. It feels real.

Comics, while I read American comics on occasion, I read a ton of manga. Here’s my five picks:

One – Knights of Sidonia, by Tsutomu Nihei. If there’s one name I can hammer into the skulls of people reading this, it’s Tsutomu Nihei. His works are beautifully, apocalyptically sublime. He is a science fiction visionary and artist.

Two – Claymore, by Norihiro Yagi. This one’s been going on for a while, and I’m currently up to date at volume 24 in the series. The story has a Dragonball Z style build up of powerful heroes fighting powerful monsters with each volume building up to something larger and more inconceivable than the last. I read it for the monsters which never cease to amaze me.

Three – Attack on Titan, by Hajime Isayama. Giant naked humanoid creatures eating humans towards extinction? Brilliant!

Four – Gyo, by Junji Ito. I’ve had this manga on my watch list for a long time but volume 1 was always unavailable. It’s a 2 volume horror manga from the author of the infamous Uzumaki. Same tone, except instead of being haunted by spirals, it’s a fish apocalypse. Gruesome. Wicked.

Five – Mardock Scramble, by Tow Ubukata and Yoshitoki Oima. Cyberpunk assassin revenge story. Seven volumes. Lots of action. And there are shape shifting hamsters and talking dolphins in there somewhere too.

What’s your new book about and why should we spend our coffee money on it?

My new book is about milk (get Day of the Milkman HERE!). How a world is drowned in it, people rely upon it to continue their day-to-day lives, and then a milkman wakes up to find that he’s the last of his people, left floating in a curdling ocean. It’s about the will to survive. It’s about the search for meaning and understanding. It’s about coping with loss and trying to comprehend the world around you. But really, it’s just about milk.

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Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of Gutmouth and a few other things no one will ever read. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias

Dilation Exercise 110

Below you’ll find Alan M. Clark’s weekly Dilation Exercise. It uses an illustration from his new novel, Say Anything But Your Prayers, released today by Lazy Fascist Press, and is inspired by the story. Please look at the picture, read the caption, above and below the image, and allow your imagination to go to work on it. This time, since this image and text are a product of a finished work, please don’t elaborate on the story with comments. Need a further explanation about the Dilation Exercises? Go to Imagination Workout—The Dilation Exercises.

Since escaping the life in which she’d pleased little but desperate toads and vindictive cuckolds, Elizabeth was happy that her new lover, Policeman Winders, didn’t treat her like a dirty puzzle.

For the first time, sex was a tender, loving act, which made it all the more shocking that their relationship should end in violence.

—Alan M. Clark
Eugene, Oregon

If you like Alan M. Clark’s artwork, please try his writing in both short fiction and novels.

Artwork: “No Parting Words” copyright © 2014 Alan M. Clark. Interior illustration for Say Anything But Your Prayers by Alan M. Clark – Lazy Fascist Press.

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